College football bowl game predictions: Week 1 (Dec. 16-22)

Here are predictions for the opening week of the college football bowl games.

Arizona State v UCLA
Arizona State v UCLA / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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Famous Toastery Bowl: WKU vs. ODU (-3) -- 2:30 PM EST, ESPN (Dec. 18)

Austin Reed and Western Kentucky didn't have the season some expected. However, they still have more firepower than the Monarchs who barely made a bowl game. Give me the better quarterback in this one.

Prediction: Western Kentucky 28, Old Dominion 20

Friso Bowl: UTSA (-11.5) vs. Marshall -- 9 PM EST, ESPN (Dec. 19)

The Roadrunners are building a solid program, but this will be the final game for quarterback Frank Harris and I don't see him losing it. UTSA also runs the ball well averaging 4.2 yards per game, while limiting opponents to 3.8. That and the QB will led to a ninth win.

Prediction: UTSA 38, Marshall 21

Boca Raton Bowl: South Florida vs. Syracuse (-3) -- 8 PM EST, ESPN (Dec. 21)

Bryum Brown has 11 touchdown passes in his last four games and in a battle of 6-6 teams, it feels like USF will have the motivation edge. Syracuse is transitioning at head coach, which doesn't always lead to successful bowl games, especially after the way the season ended with a 2-5 finish.

Prediction: USF 31, Syracuse 21

Gasparilla Bowl: Georgia Tech vs. UCF (-5) -- 6:30 PM EST, ESPN (Dec. 22)

In a battle of 6-6 teams, this actually should be an interesting bowl game to watch. Haynes King leads the Yellow Jackets, who did notch some impressive wins this season, including the late rally over Miami, a top-25 team. UCF also dominated a top-25 opponent, pounding Oklahoma State into dust. John Rhys Plumlee missed a few games but still passed for 2,500 yards and accounted for 18 touchdowns. King accounted for 29 total touchdowns. Both offense are ranked in the top 30 in total yards and the bottom 87 in terms of yards allowed. UCF seems to have a slight edge on defense -- Georgia Tech ranks 104th in points allowed, as well as 121st in yards allowed, which will prove to be the difference in a game where the punters might not see the field much.

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Prediction: UCF 38, Georgia Tech 31